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Patriotic Paper Pieces

English paper-piece a star-studded table topper for the Fourth of July. Fabrics are from the Classic 1800s Shirting collection by Sara Morgan for Washington Street Studio.

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Make Basted Pieces

1. Pin a jewel template to wrong side of a blue print jewel piece (Diagram 1).

2. Fold seam allowance over two template edges. Take a stitch or two to tack corner in place (Diagram 2).

3. Fold next seam allowance over template. Hand-baste fold with a stitch through fabric but not through paper (Diagram 3). Finger-press basted edge. As you approach the next corner, take a stitch or two to tack corner in place. Repeat folding and basting with remaining edges to make a basted jewel. Remove pin; do not remove paper.

4. Repeat steps 1-3 with remaining blue print jewel pieces to make 42 basted jewels total.

5. Using hexagon templates and white print hexagon pieces, repeat steps 1-3 to make seven basted hexagons (Diagram 4).

6. Using diamond templates and red print diamond pieces, repeat steps 1-3 to make 30 basted diamonds (Diagram 5).

7. Pin a triangle template to wrong side of a white print triangle piece. Fold and baste only two edges (Diagram 6) to make a basted triangle. Repeat with remaining white print triangle pieces to make six basted triangles.

 

Assemble Star Subunits

1. Gather six basted jewels and a basted hexagon.

2. With right sides together, layer basted hexagon atop a basted jewel, aligning edges to be stitched. Hold edges together with your fingers or a clip.

3. Beginning at one corner, hand-sew aligned edges together using tiny whipstitches that catch a few threads of each fabric fold (Diagram 7). Backstitch to secure beginning of seam before stitching to opposite corner. You’ll feel the templates with your needle, but do not stitch through them.

4. At opposite corner, backstitch and knot thread. Finger-press joined pieces open. Check seam from right side. If your stitches show, redo seam with smaller whipstitches.

5. Continue in the same manner to join remaining jewels to hexagon (Diagram 8), setting in seams as needed, to make a star subunit. Press as before.
    To set in a piece, pin and sew a seam on one side. Reposition stitched pieces so next seam is aligned and continue sewing.

6. Repeat steps 1-5 to make seven star subunits total.

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